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July Smithsonian Saturday Program at Cultural Heritage Center to focus on

The Museum of the South Dakota State Historical Society will move the monthly “Smithsonian Saturday” program at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre to Saturday, July 9, at 2 p.m. CDT to avoid holiday conflicts.

The featured program, usually held the first Saturday of each month, is entitled “Searching for Life in the Solar System,” and it was originally broadcast by the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

There is no fee to attend this program, but regular admission fees apply to visit the museum exhibits.

The program focuses on the question: Where might we find life in the solar system? Intriguing possibilities include the watery plumes of Enceladus, the subsurface of Mars that might hold the remains of past life, and the methane seas of Titan that might have life different from any we know. In this 82-minute program, Chris McKay, planetary scientist at NASA Ames Research Center, will discuss the ongoing search for life within our solar system.

“We are looking forward to this program,” said museum director Jay Smith. “Chris McKay does a great job of making certain that complex ideas can be readily understood by an audience that may not be filled with scientists. I am sure that people will enjoy this presentation that answers a lot of questions about contemporary NASA activities.”

The next “Smithsonian Saturday” will be held on Saturday, Aug. 6. The program will feature work being conducted on historical topics in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institution.

The museum is open 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m. CDT Monday-Saturday and 1-4:30 p.m. on Sundays and holidays, including the Fourth of July. There is a small admission fee for visitors age 18 and older. Children age 17 and younger are always free.

The South Dakota State Historical Society became a Smithsonian Affiliate in January 2013 and is the only affiliate in South Dakota.

About the South Dakota State Historical Society
The South Dakota State Historical Society is a division of the Department of Education. The State Historical Society, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is headquartered at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. The center houses the society’s world-class museum, the archives, and the historic preservation, publishing and administrative/development offices. Call (605) 773-3458 or visit for more information. The society also has an archaeology office in Rapid City; call (605) 394-1936 for more information.

Established in 1996, Smithsonian Affiliations is a national outreach program that develops long-term collaborative partnerships with museums, educational and cultural organizations to enrich communities with Smithsonian resources. The long-term goal of Smithsonian Affiliations is to facilitate a two-way relationship among Affiliate organizations and the Smithsonian Institution to increase discovery and inspire lifelong learning in communities across America. More information about the Smithsonian Affiliations program and Affiliate activity is available at>

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